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SUNY Potsdam Graduate Student Jessica Hurlbut to Run 110 Miles for Adoption Awareness

November 7, 2018

Jessica Hurlbut (third from left) with her children Jeremiah, Jake, Emma, Mara, Isaac and husband Greg. The couple adopted Emma and Isaac from foster care and work to raise awareness about adoption.

A SUNY Potsdam graduate student and mother of five children—two of whom were adopted—plans to run 110 miles in 24 hours to raise awareness about the 110,000 children currently in foster care across America.

Jessica Hurlbut, who is currently completing her Master of Science in Teaching degree in childhood education at SUNY Potsdam, plans to undertake the ambitious campaign from Friday, Nov. 16 to Saturday, Nov. 17, in honor of National Adoption Day.

Hurlbut, who adopted two of her children from the New York State foster care system, hopes to increase public attention on the thousands of children across the country who are waiting to find their “forever families.”

Her 110-mile ultramarathon running course will take her throughout St. Lawrence County from Nov. 16 to 17, with stops in Ogdensburg, Canton, Potsdam, Moira and the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation, before she finishes in her hometown of Massena.

“I want to do something hard,” Hurlbut said. “I want to show people that pursuing the ‘hard’ things in life will bring the most fulfillment and purpose. Running 110 miles is hard. Adopting is hard. But it’s so worth it!”

In addition to pursuing her graduate studies and training for her ultramarathon, Hurlbut is a pastor at New Testament Church in Massena, and has previously competed on “American Ninja Warrior.”

Hurlbut will depart from Massena’s Trinity Catholic School parking lot at 9 a.m. on Nov. 16, with a send-off from the school community. All are welcome to participate.

To learn more about the 110-mile Adoption Day run, visit

About National Adoption Day:

In 2000, Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas suggested opening the legal system on a single day to finalize and celebrate adoptions, as well as eliminate the backlog of cases awaiting a court date. It became a national event, now with participation from more than 400 cities in all 50 states. National Adoption Day has helped nearly 70,000 children move from foster care into permanent homes. If you are interested in fostering or adopting, contact Fostering Futures at (315) 229-3480. For more details about children currently in foster care, visit

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges—and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit

For Media Inquiries

Jason Hunter, College Communications (315) 267-2114